While life at Celtic has not exactly got off to the best of starts for Ange Postecoglou, with the 56-year-old manager having already seen his Hoops side fall to three defeats in the Scottish Premiership this season, there have nevertheless been a number of positives under the Greek-Australian boss – one of which has been the progression of the Bhoys’ younger talents.
Indeed, the likes of 18-year-old central midfielder Dane Murray, 19-year-old left-back Adam Montgomery and 21-year-old centre-back Stephen Welsh have all been afforded a considerable amount of game time under Postecoglou.
Meanwhile, a number of other Celtic starlets, including the likes of 18-year-old winger Karamoko Dembele, 19-year-old attacking midfielder Owen Moffat and 20-year-old central midfielder Scott Robertson have all also been included in the manager’s matchday squads.
As such, it would very much appear as if the promotion of youth will be a characteristic of Postecoglou’s time at Parkhead, and one youngster at Lennoxtown has been attracting an increasing amount of attention in recent weeks – Rocco Vata.
While the 15-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance for the Bhoys – perhaps an unsurprising fact considering his tender age – the attacking midfielder has nevertheless caught the eye while playing for Celtic’s U18 side, as well as on international duty with the Republic of Ireland U17s.
Firstly, the son of the former Celtic defender, Rudy Vata, demonstrated his creative capacity in a recent Scottish FA Youth Cup clash with East Fife – feigning a turn on the halfway line to leave an onrushing opponent in his wake, before turning on the afterburners in a powerful drive down the right flank and landing a pin-point cross on the foot of a teammate to fire home.
More recently, the midfielder proved with Ireland U17s that he is also capable of finding the back of the net himself – once again turning a helpless defender, before cutting inside and unleashing a thunderous drive into the North Macedonian net to give his side the lead, with the ROI Twitter account dubbing the teenager’s strike “fantastic“.
As such, with Tom Rogic – who has not exactly been in the best form of his life so far this season – being Postecoglou’s only senior option in attacking midfield at Parkhead, the 56-year-old might be tempted to enter the market for a new player in the position this January. However, perhaps it would be wise to take a closer look at Vata before doing so – as the starlet could well go on to save the club millions of pounds in transfer fees in the long run.